Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Angles

Ann-Christine challenges us to illustrate the difference angles can make on our perception of the world. I am reminded of the ancient Indian story of the blind men and the elephant, retold in the poem by John Godfrey Saxe that begins like this: 

It was six men of Indostan 
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant 
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation 
Might satisfy his mind.

From my photo archives, I found an album of pictures taken five years ago next week on my “birthday cruise”. I had been working at Discovery World, a museum in Milwaukee that owns a replica of a 19th century cargo ship they named The Denis Sullivan. For my birthday, I was gifted a short trip out of the harbor and back to dock. There was absolutely no wind that day, so though we unfurled the sails, we didn’t go very far or very fast. In the calm, I found that taking photos from all different angles became the excitement of the day. 

 

My perspective on sailing Lake Michigan, therefore, was all about tranquility and discipline. The crew had everything “shipshape” and moved like clockwork. However, I’ve read accounts of shipwrecks on the lake that must have been the picture of chaos and terror.

Perspective makes a huge difference. In this complex world, we must remember the danger of a single story and humbly leave room in our imaginations for something outside of our own experience. 

So, oft in theologic wars 
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance 
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Angular

Straight lines are man-made, and they are all around us. 

If you’ve followed my blog or know me at all, I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that I see myself as a Nature Girl.  I don’t do Man-Made stuff if at all possible; I don’t seek it out, I don’t photograph it, I don’t buy it.  But of course, that’s a delusion, really.  I live in a house built with right angles, and I sell books which are usually rectangular.  I am surrounded; I had best make peace with angles.  Sharp, rigid, dogmatic angles.  Plumb-lines and cages. 

* peace *

(Wow, I can be judgmental.) Okay, horizons and vanishing points, inclines and steps.  I don’t know if I will ever call them “beautiful”, but I can see that they are useful and interesting. 

I glance out my window and see feathery frost, reminding me that snowflakes and crystals are made of straight angles.  And my ego is made up of attachments and aversions. 

* peace *